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At any flow
rate, the volume of oxygen arriving at any tissue by a capillary is relative to
the flow fraction occupied by red blood cells. This is due to the low volume of
oxygen being transported by the suspended plasma being valued unimportant in
comparison to the oxygen that is attached to the haemoglobin. The percentage of
the total volume of the blood in a capillary which consists of RBCs is what
controls the overall flow rate of the capillary. The remaining hemodynamic
conditions such as the diameter of the vessel, viscosity of the plasma and
pressure factors are irrelevant as they remain fixed factors (Gaehtgens, 1979).
 The volume concentration of cells is a
function of the capillary flow rate as the portion of flow consisting of cells
in itself is dependent on capillary perfusion (Gaehtgens, 1979). This means
that the hemodynamic parameters relating to capillary flow rate are also
responsible for collectively its resistance to flow and red cell flux. Gaeghtens
et al carried out an experiment to test the relationship between the capillary
flow rate and the fraction of flow rate occupied by RBCs. The capillary
diameter was between 3.3-6.3 µm while the haematocrit of suspension in the feed
chamber was 0.35. The results of the experiments carried out revealed that for
a specified rate of flow, the changes of capillary flow rate significantly
affect the flow fraction of RBCs in the feeding channel. At low velocities in
the capillary, the red cell flow fraction was seen to be almost zero, or zero.
It was also noted that nearly all cell free suspended fluid passed through the
capillary at this low flow rate. The cell flow fraction increased accordingly
due to a high capillary perfusion rate. This increase halted at a high capillary
flow rate where the flow fraction of red blood cells reached almost equivalent
cell concentration level as present in the original feed channel. In summary,
the RBC flow fraction increases with increasing capillary flow rate and
simultaneously with decreasing feeding vessel flow rate.

Also, at a
specified flow rate in capillaries, the portion of the flow populated by RBCs
was affected by the alterations of the rate of perfusion from the feed chamber.
Higher flow rate from the feeder channel resulted in a decrease of flow
fraction made up of red blood cells. At the highest perfusion rate in the feed
channel, neglible cells were seen to go through the capillaries (Gaeghtens,
1979). 

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